Volunteers Strengthen Residents in the South

March 19, 2012  

Over seven hundred volunteers from the youth organization ‘Makom BaLev,’ or ‘A Place in the Heart,’ traveled to the south to provide Israeli children and their families with encouragement and support in light of the recent surge of rocket attacks perpetrated by terrorists in Gaza.

The program, which is funded by the Orthodox Union (OU), has been active for over a decade and has branches in communities throughout the country.

Volunteers engaged the residents in heartfelt discussions and, together, they learned “VeHi She’Amda,” a verse from the Passover Hagada.

The verse recounts that in every generation, the Jewish people are confronted with enemies who seek their destruction. Yet, despite the overwhelming hardships, with G-d’s help, they manage to persist and persevere.

Haim Shmila, Kiryat Malachi branch coordinator, said that learning this specific verse was intended to convey the understanding that, despite the attampts of our enemies to annihilate the Jewish people, their efforts only further solidify our belief and sense of purpose.

“We believe that the personal connection is an integral part of the learning process, especially in times of crisis,” stated Director of Makom BaLev, Yisrael Goren.

He added that the barrage of attacks cause a great deal of pain and suffering for the members of the south, especially the children. He said that the most effective way of coping with these feelings, as well as the existential questions that arise, is to vocalize these feelings and be heard. He said that the children and families of the south are in need of strong spiritual empowerment, which, he said, the volunteers provide. 

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